The Shmooze

Golden Globes Arbiter of Seats Is an Israeli Journalist

By Nathan Burstein

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Jews don’t run Hollywood, but it turns out an Israeli controls the Golden Globes — much to the dissatisfaction of some inside the entertainment industry.

Judith Solomon, a writer for Israeli magazine Women’s World, has earned a long list of Hollywood enemies as the person responsible for seating at the pre-Oscars award ceremony.

A new profile reports that Solomon caused a “mini world war” last year when she decreed that agents and managers couldn’t sit in “the pit,” the high-visibility area closest to the Golden Globes stage.

The 79-year-old Solomon achieved her role through her 55-year membership in the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, the group that hosts the Globes, and has allegedly upended Hollywood’s traditional hierarchy by refusing the ticket requests of high-powered agents and executives. Some have accused Solomon of inappropriately trading favors with studios — providing them with more seats if they send bigger stars.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, few in Hollywood would speak out against Solomon on the record. The writer downplayed her own importance in an interview with the Daily Beast, saying she does her best to accommodate competing demands, and that people forget about her immediately after each year’s Globes. In fact, when asked whether her status as arbiter of seats had Hollywood’s elite trying to win her favor, she replied: “No, darling, don’t you know Hollywood? On January 17th [the day after the Globes], they’ll say, ‘Who?’ “

Whatever the truth may be, one description from a publicist made Solomon sound distinctly like the Israeli she is. “She’s tough, funny, and honest. She’s kind of the one person who will give you an answer straight-out.”


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